Curriculum

There are a number of principles upon which our curriculum is built:

Breadth and depth

The St Leonards Academy curriculum is focused on breadth but depth. At KS3 there is a strong emphasis on the teaching of core subjects with every student receiving at least four lessons of Maths, English and Science a week.

All students in Year 7 and 8 follow a Mastery programme throughout their subjects. This programme is fully embedded in English, Maths and Science. The Mastery programme has been expanded to most other subjects including History, Geography, MFL and Art.

The curriculum is intended to provide both challenge, which is a precondition for learning to take place, and the opportunity to enable students to receive the necessary support they require. At the same time we provide small group tuition within the timetable in English and Mathematics where students need additional time to develop and consolidate their skills in these core subjects.

To be successful at school, in higher education and in the workplace, competence in reading, writing and spoken communication is vital, so students are given guided reading sessions in the library during their English lessons. Students who have fallen behind with their reading follow the ‘Reading Recovery’ or ‘Sound Training’ programme.

Individualised and personal to a student’s needs, skills and aspirations

We believe that a curriculum should fit the needs of its students; not the other way round. To this end we have devised our curriculum and our options to be as flexible and responsive to student need as possible. Students try all design technology subjects and all expressive arts subjects on a carousel basis. All students study history and geography as well as a language. During year 8 students are given the choice of a wide range of options in addition to the core curriculum to choose for three-year study.

Academic rigour and expectation

We provide all students with a sound academic basis with a focus on excellence in English, Maths, Science and ICT. The Academy supports and encourages our students to meet and exceed the national expectation that a curriculum should provide for successful study of the core subjects, humanities and foreign languages while retaining the breadth provided by the expressive arts and technical subjects. We actively encourage our students to consider this balance carefully when making decisions about future study while bearing in mind their next steps into further education or careers.

The curriculum at The St Leonards Academy is constantly reviewed and evaluated and we would welcome any comments or feedback from all our stakeholders. To give comments or feedback or request further information please contact us on c.guyton@hasla.org.uk

Curriculum details

At The St Leonards Academy, we ensure all students follow a rigorous and challenging curriculum that is designed to unlock the potential of every learner and prepare them for a fast changing and demanding world. Our intention is that our students will follow a curriculum that enables them to take pride through success.

British Values at The St Leonards Academy

The St Leonards Academy is dedicated to serving the local community by promoting the fundamental rights and values that characterise British society. We recognise the vital role that we have in safeguarding our young people from those that might wish to intimidate, radicalise or unduly influence them and the importance of our mission to equip students with the qualifications and skills necessary to live as responsible citizens of an increasingly globalised society.

We strive to ensure that extreme political views are not promoted during the teaching of any subject in the academy and where political views are explored, reasonable steps are taken to present a balanced presentation of opposing points of view.

We value freedom of speech highly and all students know that their first point of contact is their tutor, who will champion their view to the rest of the academy. We also regularly use surveys, focus group interviews and meetings with members of the student parliament to collect the opinions of students on the decisions that affect them However, this is not an unqualified right and speech that is intended to exploit the vulnerable or leads to violence or harm to others is not tolerated.

British values are promoted both through the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities such as assemblies, tutor time discussions, visiting speakers, workshop providers etc. In particular, all students in years 7 and 8 have lessons in ‘Lifelong Learning’ which provide them with the time and structures necessary to explore sensitive and controversial issues and equips them with the knowledge and skills to safely navigate difficult or dangerous situations.

The Academy works with UNICEF to promote the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has been awarded a ‘recognition of commitment’ for this work.

Students and staff at the Academy working together to promote the Universal Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Democracy

    The Academy is committed to supporting the democratic process and encouraging all students to participate in it. Students will leave us with a good understanding of how they can influence decision making through the democratic process.

    Examples from within the curriculum
    • All KS3 students learn about the democratic structures and parties of the UK during a Lifelong Learning unit on democracy.
    • All KS3 students get the opportunity to compare and contrast totalitarian and democratic societies in history and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
    • Studying texts such as Julius Caesar and Animal Farm in English Literature helps students to understand the history and significance of democracy.
    • Students who opt for GCSE Sociology will get to explore these issues in more depth, particularly during the unit on Power.
    Examples from outside of the curriculum
    • All students can apply to become members of the student parliament (MSPs) and are then democratically elected to represent their tutor group. The Parliament meets termly, while individual working parties meet fortnightly. The student parliament recently influenced whole academy decisions about uniform, food offered at the canteen, enrichment activities and the academy’s anti-bullying strategy.
    • Mock elections are held to coincide with local and national elections.
    • MSPs trip to the Houses of Parliament for a tour and debating workshop.
    • Our ‘Learning partners’ programme allows students to work together with teachers to plan lessons and units of work.
    Former Co-President of the Student Parliament, Millie Crosby, supervises a ballot box during the Academy’s mock elections in May 2015.
  • The Rule of Law

    We strongly believe that we have a duty to educate our students in the difference between right and wrong and to help them to apply this understanding to decision making in their own lives. We also help our young adults to understand and respect the law and the public services and institutions that uphold it.

    Examples from within the curriculum
    • All students take a Lifelong Learning unit on ‘rights and responsibilities’ where they learn about the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child
    • All students take an introductory sociology unit on ‘crime and deviance’ in year 9 where they learn about the role of the justice system, and both the causes and effects of criminal behaviour.
    • All students regularly learn about drug use and its consequences during PSCHE and Science lessons.
    • During science lessons, all students are given the opportunity to learn about and discuss controversial issues such as those around human cloning, drugs and the use of animals for medical research
    • In art, a unit on graffiti art enables students to explore the relationship between art, the law and morality
    • Students who opt for GCSE Sociology or GCSE Philosophy and Ethics will study and debate many of these topics in more depth.
    Examples from outside of the curriculum
    • We have an effective ‘BTA’ (Behaviour To Achieve) system that encourages students to understand the impact that their behaviour and choices has on other people and that there are consequences for certain types of behaviour.
    • The Academy maintains close links with the local police force.
    • We work closely with ‘TYS’ (Targeted Youth Support) to identify and support any of our young people who are at risk of offending.
    • Our assembly and tutor time programme often includes presentation and discussion of controversial topics around legal issues, such as the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter.
    TSLA Students discuss Orgreave with the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd
  • Individual liberty

    At the heart of our Academy’s ethos lies the idea of ‘Pride Through Success’. This vein runs through every aspect of Academy life and empowers students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.

    Examples from within the curriculum
    • In Lifelong Learning, students learn how the law protects the freedom of the press
    • Units on the Holocaust and the US civil rights movement studied in History help students to understand the importance of individual liberty
    • Our innovative ‘Maths Mastery’ curriculum at KS3 gives students the time and support necessary to really master the key skills and concepts that lay the foundation for future success
    • In English students develop their self-esteem and self-confidence during a unit on ‘Leadership’.
    Examples from outside of the curriculum
    • Weekly reviews of progress both in academic subjects and a suite of ‘employability skills’ such as teamwork, presentation skills and citizenship take place between students and their tutors as part of our ‘Expert Learner Programme’.
    • Our ‘Passport to Success’ programme recognises and rewards success. Students can graduate from the year at levels of Distinction/Merit/Pass depending on the level of their achievements and character development throughout the year.
    • This year will see the launch of our academy newspaper, written and edited entirely by students.
    • We have a large, committed student support team who work with individual students and outside agencies to break down barriers to learning including using provision such as group counselling sessions, bespoke timetables and off-site activities.
    • We offer an impressive range of extension and enrichment activities, from the Duke of Edinburgh Award to a computer coding club,
    Emma Tucker, Deputy Editor of The Times newspaper, runs a newsroom workshop with the Student Parliament and the academy newspaper editorial team.
  • Mutual Respect

    Respect is one of our core ‘PRIDE’ values of Potential, Respect, Innovation, Determination and Excellence. The Academy insists on respect for others and understands the pivotal importance of identifying and combating discrimination.

    Examples from within the curriculum
    • Pupils learn about the importance of respecting diversity and combating discrimination in units on anti-bullying, diversity and respect during Lifelong Learning lessons where they are given the opportunity to learn about and discuss controversial topics such as the Muhammad cartoon controversy and the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
    • History lessons on the transatlantic slave trade, the US Civil Rights movement and Empire enable students to gain an appreciation for the importance of mutual respect in modern society.
    Examples from outside of the curriculum
    • Our programme of ‘PRIDE’ assemblies and tutor time discussion enable all students to understand the importance of mutual respect and the damage that prejudice and discrimination can do.
    • The Academy’s dedicated ‘Hawking Centre’ supports a large number of special needs students to achieve academic success in a mainstream setting.
    • This year we are launching our bid to become recognised as a ‘Rights Respecting School’ which will involve the promotion of the Convention of the Rights of the Child to all members of the Academy community.
    • Our rigorous safeguarding policy ensures that all students and staff know to report incidences of discrimination.
    Students attend to the garden in the grounds of the Hawking centre.
  • Tolerance

    All of our young people will leave the Academy with the ability to offer reasoned views on moral and ethical issues and with an appreciation of and respect for different cultures, faiths and beliefs.

    Examples from within the curriculum
    • Students investigate the difference between religious and scientific views of the world in science lessons, with a particular focus on the origins of the universe, blood and organ donation, cloning and stem cell research.
    • As part of the year 9 humanities curriculum, all students take part in a short ‘REP’ (Religion, Ethics and Philosophy) course where they learn about Christian, Islamic and other views on topics such as God, abortion, war and capital punishment.
    • Students who opt for GCSE Philosophy and Ethics will explore all of these topics in much greater depth.
    • In Art and Resistant Materials, students gain an appreciation of other cultures through the study of cultural products such as paintings, masks, jewellery and clothing from around the world.
    • In KS3 Geography, pupils learn about the physical and human geography of Brazil and China and enables students to discuss cultural differences and similarities.
    • An English literature unit entitled ‘Literature of the other’ includes texts such as ‘Mr Pip’ and ‘Pidgeon English’, which promote tolerance and harmony through an appreciation of other cultures.
    • All students study at least one modern foreign language and this helps them to gain a greater appreciation of European culture.
    Examples from outside of the curriculum
    • Our Safeguarding lead, Linda Harding, has completed PREVENT awareness training.
    • As part of our safeguarding procedures, all staff have been made aware of their duties under the counter-terrorism and security act of 2015 and have completed the online ‘Channel General Awareness module’. They know to refer to the East Sussex Prevent Strategy if they suspect a young person may be vulnerable to extremism (defined as vocal or active opposition to the fundamental British values) or radicalisation.
    • All members of staff have completed the online ‘Channel’ awareness programme to support them with identifying factors that make young people vulnerable to radicalisation.
    • The schools ‘Acceptable Use’ policy for staff and pupils prohibits access to materials relating to violent extremism.
    • Internet filtering systems (such as Impero software) monitor and block students’ access to unsuitable material, including extremist websites. Key word monitoring is flagged up through the academy’s safeguarding system and follows closely the guidelines of the counter-terrorism act of 2015. E-safety and anti-grooming is an integral part of our academy’s ICT and PSCHE curriculum.
    • Our assembly and tutor time programme introduces important British values and gives students the time to discuss controversial issues.
    Students raising awareness of and collecting food national for, the ‘Trusell Trust’, a natonal charity with the bold aim of eliminating hunger and poverty throughout the UK.
What is English?

English at The St Leonards Academy is all about learning to be a competent and creative communicator. We believe that it is essential that students leave us with a high level of literacy and a love for literature that will mean that all doors are open to them. Students will study and recreate all kinds of material from newspapers, fiction, poetry, and 21st century texts alongside mastering the building blocks of writing: spelling, punctuation and grammar.

What’s being in an English lesson like?

In English lessons, students and teachers will work diligently at improving their reading, writing and speaking through a range of different learning experiences. Students will be provided with everything they need to make rapid progress based on their own start points and access texts from all different times, cultures and genres. Students will study a challenging range of literary texts from the beginning of year to give them the knowledge and skills they need to besuccessful both in school and in their future lives.

How will I learn?

English lessons will be a mixture of independent, paired and teacher-led learning. You will be expected to do regular homework to support your learning in class and often work within a real life context like presenting to local business leaders or writing to our MP. You will play an active part in your learning, taking responsibility, alongside your teacher, for your progress.

What will I study?

During your time in English at The St Leonards Academy you will study the following:

  • Pre and post 19th century fiction
  • Modern and traditional theatre
  • Poetry from different cultures
  • War poetry
  • Journalism
  • Literary theory
  • Shakespeare and literary heritage texts
  • Non-fiction texts and autobiography
  • Creative writing
  • Sophisticated literary techniques
What else do we offer in English?

In English, you will have the opportunity to work with published authors, visit theatres and galleries, take part in touring workshops and be inspired by politicians and journalists that have travelled the world!

We also offer English enrichment after school with clubs that focus on creative writing, blogging and graphic novel writing as well as entering (and winning) national spelling, poetry recital and debating competitions.

Year 7 Curriculum Overview Year 8 Curriculum Overview
What is Mathematics?

Mathematics is everywhere! It helps us to understand and describe the world that we live in and underpins a diverse range of other subjects including science, technology and economics. There is an increasing demand from employers for students to have good qualifications in the subject and those that do are often rewarded considerably financially.

How will I learn?

We follow the award-winning Mastery Mathematics scheme of work from Year 7, which is built around the following four key principles:

  • High expectations for every child, one curriculum for all
  • Depth before breadth
  • Number sense and place value come first
  • Problem solving at the heart

During your time at the Academy you will be working on developing your fluency in mathematics by mastering the foundation numeracy skills so that you have the toolkit you need to tackle any mathematical problem. You will also focus on improving your ability to reason mathematically, to represent problems using manipulatives and diagrams, to explain both why you chose a certain method to solve a problem and why that method works for the given situation. In nearly every lesson you will be given the opportunity to explore new problems and discuss your ideas with other students.

What will I learn?

The mathematics GCSE is changing from 2017. It is getting more challenging because the amount of content included is increasing both in size and difficulty. There is an increased emphasis on students’ numeracy and problem solving skills and also their ability to know key facts and formulae off by heart. Year 7 mathematics focuses on 10 key skills that will provide the foundations for rapid progress in the later years of mathematics learning and success at GCSE mathematics.

What extra support is available?

We monitor the progress of every child carefully and provide intervention for students that require it. Students that are initially struggling with mathematics, will be placed in classes with a much smaller number of students in order to receive the extra attention they require to make rapid progress. Students that join us with a real aptitude for the subject will be stretched in class by the provision of rich tasks that allow students to secure truly deep understanding of the content covered. There will be enrichment and support classes available outside of normal lesson time and students and parents will be provided with the required details to access quality online resources to support learning at home.

Year 7 Curriculum Overview Year 8 Curriculum Overview Year 9 Curriculum Overview
What is science like at The Academy?

In Year 7 we are looking to turn our students into scientists. We encourage students to develop their scientific thinking, immerse themselves in becoming the best scientist they can be. We teach students practical skills required to develop scientific enquiry and investigation. We support this by providing a practical curriculum to enable students to become independent in their work and confident in their skills. Many aspects of the scheme reflect the Key Stage 4 scheme of work so this enables a smooth transition into GCSE and maximised attainment. We follow a Mastery Curriculum which enables students to revisit key scientific concepts and build knowledge and understanding year on year. Students are expected to learn key vocabulary and facts required to support their deeper understanding of topics including Forces & Energy, Waves, Earth Chemistry, Particles, Cells, Life Processes and Waves.

We support this by providing a practical heavy curriculum to enable students to become independent in their work and confident in their skills. Many aspects of the scheme reflect the Key Stage 4 scheme of work so this enables a smooth transition into GCSE and maximised attainment.

What is a science lesson like?

In term 1, we start with the key Physics topics ‘Forces and Energy’. Students are introduced to the fundamental concepts, scientific keywords and basic practical skills for these physics topics. Our scheme of work has been especially created to suit the new GCSE which requires competency in data analysis and maths. We encourage students to observe evidence for scientific concepts using practical investigation. Through repetition of key skills like planning, concluding and evaluation we promote independence and mastery.

How will I learn?

Learning happens through experimentation and research. Students will work both independently and in small groups for support. Cross curricular links are made every term. We use technology to research answers and ideas. Students will also be focusing on presentation of data through graph drawing and constructing simple spreadsheets. Literacy is also a focus and students will be challenged to learn and use a wide range of new vocabulary.

How will I be assessed?

We assess students in a variety of ways. During each key topic studied, students will be expected to complete a short literacy task to develop their scientific writing skills. We use data analysis to test mathematical skills and students’ ability to interpret data. Students have Lab Books for practical write-ups and key skills are assessed at various points throughout the year. At the end of each topic they are given a 50 mark factual recall test of essential vocabulary and knowledge related to that term. Finally, they complete an applied question paper, which allows them to demonstrate their understanding of fundamental concepts and apply their knowledge to new situations. Students who achieve Mastery in the summative tests will be able to complete an extension project at the end of that term, which is designed to consolidate and extend their learning related to that topic.

What else do we offer in science?

We work closely with the University of Brighton as part of our aim to encourage students to pursue STEM-related careers. We have a number of exciting educational visitors that come and work with our students; providing engaging sessions like robot wars and exotic animal handling. We have scientific professionals like nurses and vets who provide careers advice and raise aspiration. We offer trips to different groups of students including London Zoo and the Science Museum.

Year 7 Curriculum Overview Year 8 Curriculum Overview
What is Geography?

Geography is a subject that ensures curiosity about the world around us, inspiring student imaginations and understanding of different people, places and geographical processes.

What is being in a Geography lesson like?

Geography lessons are fun, they’re engaging and challenging as they equip you with skills and knowledge that will help you answer real world geographical questions.

How will I learn?

You will learn in a wide variety of ways, both in and out of the classroom. Inside the classroom we place a huge focus on developing your literacy. You will have plenty of opportunity to develop your writing whilst broadening your understanding through text, film, and discussion. Outside the classroom, you will have the opportunity to visit and learn in places near and far. In October 2016, forty students will be visit Italy as part of a geographical tour of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and the Bay of Naples.

How will we help you to make progress quickly?

You will quickly be introduced to the required success criteria which will help structure and guide your writing. Your teachers will model what excellent work looks like and give you opportunity to mark your work, and work of others yourself to help you understand what you do well and what and how you can improve further.

What will I learn?

At Key Stage 3 students explore a wide variety of geographical topics, taking students on a journey from the shores of Hastings and St Leonards to the four corners of the world. In doing so students study the world’s biomes, coastal processes, weather and climate, a growing global population and the effects and responses to natural disasters to name just a few.

Year 7 Curriculum Overview Year 8 Curriculum Overview
What is History?

History allows learners to begin understanding the past, in order to make sense of today.

What is being in a History lesson like?

Each History lesson is part of an unravelling story, it is sure to be full of interest and intrigue as students are encouraged to ask questions and discover answers that help you to peer into the past.

How will I learn?

In studying History, you will become familiar with a wide range of historical documents, which will help you to develop the skills of analysis and evaluation, as well as the skill of extended writing.

How will we help you to make progress quickly?

You will quickly be introduced to the required success criteria, which will help structure and guide your writing. Your teachers will model what excellent work looks like and give you opportunity to mark your work, and work of others yourself to help you understand what you do well and what and how you can improve further.

What will I learn?
  • At Key Stage 3 you will be taken on a journey through a very eventful past, starting in year 7 with an insight into Ancient Rome, a thematic exploration of law enforcement and punishment over time before considering the Revolutions that shook the world.
  • In year 8, the focus will have reached the 20th century. We will consider both of the world wars that shaped the century, along with the horror and devastation of the Holocaust. Finally we will consider the Civil Rights movement in America, and how ordinary people changed the world.

After a study of Britain’s involvement in the Slave Trade, the subject then addresses key events of the 20th Century, including the two World Wars and the Holocaust.


Year 7 Curriculum Overview Year 8 Curriculum Overview Year 9 GCSE Curriculum Overview Year 9 NON GCSE Curriculum Overview
What is Creativity?

Practical subjects encompassing art and design, technology, photography, art graphic communication, drama, dance, music. Students will focus on a wide variety of imaginative and investigative projects that enable all learners to develop skills that have an important role to play in the students personal, social and emotional development. They encourage creativity, communication, self-confidence and self-discipline through practical exploration of materials, concepts and personal ideas.

What’s being in a Creativity lesson like?

Sometimes working independently, sometimes with others, we create an atmosphere of security, trust and concentration that enable lessons to be:

  • vibrant
  • stimulating
  • engaging
  • diverse
How will I learn?

In Year 7 the emphasis is initially on mastering new skills and techniques through practical, hands on exploration in each subject area. Students then move on to develop and synthesise their subject knowledge in Year 8 eventually undertaking mini GCSE style projects in Year 9 to prepare them for option choices and Key Stage 4.

How will we help you to make progress quickly?

Students will undertake a creative and practical journey, where their individual needs will be assessed. Students will be involved in target-setting and understand how they can make progress to the next level at their own individual challenging pace.

What will I learn?
  • How to express personal thoughts and ideas through creative/practical processes
  • About a variety of cultures
  • How to articulate and communicate through visual and written mediums
  • To develop confidence in own abilities
  • How to evaluate progress and celebrate success
  • ICT skills and how to use new technology
  • How to work well with others
What else do we offer in Creativity?
  • Opportunities to perform in dance and drama productions and to showcase musical talents both in school and within the community.
  • Involvement in local and national competitions such as ‘Rock Challenge’, ‘Hastings Music Festival’ and ‘Battle of the Bands’
  • Extra curricular clubs in design technology, art, drama, rock club and singing club in music
  • Participation in arts events involving local artists and designers
  • A wide range of GCSE subjects are offered at Key Stage 4
Art - Year 7 Curriculum Overview Art - Year 8 Curriculum Overview Art - Year 9 Curriculum Overview

Design Technology - Year 7 Curriculum Overview Design Technology - Year 8 Curriculum Overview Design Technology - Year 9 Curriculum Overview

Drama - Year 7 Curriculum Overview Drama - Year 8 Curriculum Overview Drama - Year 9 Curriculum Overview

Music - Year 7 Curriculum Overview Music - Year 8 Curriculum Overview Music - Year 9 Curriculum Overview
What is PE?

Physical Education is a practical based subject which introduces and teaches students in a wide range of physical activities and sports. It also has examination courses that combines practical elements and assessment as well as theoretical work encompassing all areas of sport.

What’s being in PE lessons like?

Our aim is to make PE lessons as active and fun as is possible on top of delivering core skills, techniques, tactics and personal skills in a number of different sports and activities. As students progress through the Academy they will gain more choice and flexibility in the activities they take part in and we actively engage students in the design of the curriculum.

How will I learn?

Learning will take place in a variety of ways. At times our experienced staff will teach and demonstrate set skills to be copied and practised by students. Students will sometimes experiment with their own ideas on the best way to achieve an individual or group / team goal. As they progress through the years, students are given more opportunities to lead parts of the lessons themselves. Self and peer evaluation are also key elements to many PE lessons. Learning through playing the game itself and discovering how to deal with situations within the game are also ways that students learn.

How will we help you to make progress quickly?

We have developed an assessment system that allows us to develop the whole person rather than just focus on skills. This will allow us to have a clearer focus in our teaching with selected students or groups. Students, who regularly attend clubs inside and outside of school, will develop their skills and ability at a much faster rate; some of these are also transferable to other activities.

What will I learn?

In Years 7 & 8 students will have a ‘traditional’ curriculum including football, basketball, rugby, netball, dance, gymnastics, cricket, rounders and athletics. From Year 9 onwards students have option routes and can choose more of the activities that they want to do including a large amount of new ones such as trampolining, hockey, stoolball, tennis, table-tennis, cheerleading and handball. In Year 10, we get students to take a sports leadership course.

Year 7 & 8 Curriculum Overview Year 9 Curriculum Overview
What is Computing?

Computing is the study of how computers and computer systems work and how they are constructed and programmed. Computing is a discipline, like mathematics or physics, that explores foundational principles and ideas (such as techniques for searching the Web), rather than artefacts (such as particular computer programs), although it may use the latter to illuminate the former.

What is a computing lesson like?

In lessons, students will be completing a mixture of theory and practical units drawn from the disciplines of technology, design, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences and social sciences.

How will I learn?

In computing the learning happens through research and investigation which encourages students to think creatively and independently to find out how things work.

How will we help you make progress quickly?

Teachers will use a wide range of learning activities which involves using industry leading technologies such as, ‘Oculus Rift’, ‘Raspberry Pi’, ‘Arduino’, ‘DJI Vision+’, ‘Python’, ‘App Inventor’, ‘AppShed’ and more. Teachers will frequently check that students have understood concepts and gained knowledge through regular assessment and feedback.

What will I learn?
  • Develop an understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work.
  • Look at the use of algorithms in computer systems.
  • Develop into outstanding digital citizens.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs and the impact of computer technology in society.
  • Develop computer programs to solve problems.
What extra support is available?

The computing department offers a range of extra-curricular activities such as the coding club where students will get the opportunity to design their own software or get involved with our robotics projects.

Trips are offered yearly to the ‘TechMix’ tech camp in London where students get to work closely with of the industry’s leading tech companies and developers. Online courses are available to all parent and carers, designed to get people from all ages and abilities involved in coding.

What is MFL?

‘MFL’ stands for ‘Modern Foreign Languages’ and at The St Leonards Academy this includes French and Spanish.

What is an MFL lesson like?

In MFL we want you to enjoy your lessons and to have fun, but most of all we want to challenge you to overcome your fears and immerse yourself in a foreign culture. We believe that every student can be a successful student of languages.

How will I learn?

You will often be using new technologies to learn vocabulary and to practise speaking and listening. You will be working in pairs and in groups to help each other become more confident with using your new language skills. You will also be playing lots of games and taking quizzes and tests to help important words and phrases stick in your memory.

How will we help you make progress quickly?

We will help you to make progress quickly by always expecting you to try your hardest, even when you find it difficult and by giving you the challenge and support you need to exceed what you think is possible.

What will I learn?

You will learn how to describe in detail your life and hobbies in French or Spanish, how to confidently order food in a restaurant abroad, how to explain who your hero is and why to a foreign friend and much, much more.

What else do we offer in MFL?

MFL offers you the opportunity to broaden your horizons through a deeper understanding of the cultures and languages of France and Spain. You will also develop the self-confidence and skills essential to success in the globalised world of the 21st century.

Course details:

What is Lifelong Learning?

Lifelong Learning is the knowledge, understanding, attributes and skills that students learn at the Academy in addition to the standard curriculum of established subjects they learn from. Lifelong Learning is useful for their lives now, the next few years as a teenager and for the duration of their lives as adults. It encompasses elements of ‘PSHE’ (Personal, Social and Health Education), ‘Citizenship’, ‘SMSCD’ (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development) and ‘CEIAG’ (Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance).

Lifelong Learning has the following 3 strands:

  • LL1 - Keeping Healthy, Safe and Happy
  • LL2 - Local, National & Global Citizenship
  • LL3 - Progression, Careers & Employability

Year 7 have two lessons a fortnight of Lifelong Learning whereas Year 8 & 9 have one lesson. Although Year 10 & 11 have no timetabled lessons of Lifelong Learning, there are important ‘dropdown’ events throughout these years such as a Careers Fair at the end of Year 10 and the Post 16 Options process in Year 11.

Furthermore many elements of Lifelong Learning are covered through Tutor Times and our Assemblies programme.

CEIAG Key Dates CEIAG at The St Leonards Academy
Course details:

As a core subject, English is studied by all students. Students will be entered for a GCSE in English Language and English Literature.

The English Language course covers the three English attainment targets of speaking & listening, reading and writing. Students will experience reading and writing fiction and non-fiction texts in a variety of contexts.

The English Literature course covers a wide range of drama, prose and poetry from contemporary and modern texts, texts from across the globe and texts which have had a significant influence on our English (Welsh or Irish) literary and cultural heritage.

Year 9 English Curriculum Overview Year 10 Curriculum Overview Year 11 Curriculum Overview
  • Maths
    Course details:

    A core subject, mathematics is studied by all students. All students will be entered for a GCSE in mathematics.

    This covers Number, Algebra, Shape and Space and Handling Data.

    Year 10 English Curriculum Overview Year 11 Curriculum Overview
  • Statistics
    Course details:

    Statistics are being used at an increasing rate in business, politics and science. In the real world we are constantly bombarded through the media with graphs, economical data and various other statistical statements. In this GCSE you will learn:

    • how to collect, summarise and represent data
    • the skills necessary to read, analyse and interpret data and various diagrams and statistical statements accurately
    • to develop your ability to reason and discuss results
    • how to predict what will happen in the future by making forecasts based on statistical results and considering the probability of something happening
    Is this course right for me?

    If you want to learn about the role statistics plays in all aspects of everyday life and how to interpret and use statistical statements then this GCSE in right for you.

    The course is aimed at students taking the Higher tier of GCSE Maths and aiming for a grade B or above. The course is assessed through a combination of a written paper (75% of GCSE) and controlled assessment tasks (25% of GCSE).

    The skills you learn in this course will support further studies at A level in subjects including Mathematics, Biology, Psychology, Economics, Geography, Engineering and Archaeology. Studying statistics beyond GCSE level can lead to a variety of jobs in areas including manufacturing, insurance and civil service. Statisticians are needed in most walks of life and are well rewarded for their analytical skills!

Course details:

A core subject, all students will study and be entered for examinations in GCSE Science.
GCSE study in the sciences provides the foundation for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All students should learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They should gain appreciation of how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to the sciences and that are both inter-linked and of universal application.

The GCSE in Combined Science should enable students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem solving skills in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Students should study the sciences in ways that help them to develop curiosity about the natural world, that give them an insight into how science works and that enable them to appreciate its relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of the study should be broad, coherent, practical and satisfying. It should encourage students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject and its achievements.

We also offer the Separate Science GCSE qualifications for higher ability pupils who have a keen interest in Science and often want to continue to study it beyond GCSE level. This has further topics that extend and build-upon the key concepts studied in Combined Science qualification.

Additional Science Specification Further Additional Science Specification KS4 Science Year 9 Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Geography
    Course details:

    Geography at GCSE is a subject that is sure to capture your interest, leaving you with a sense of awe and wonder about the world around you. In choosing to study GCSE Geography you will explore a wide range of contemporary geographical issues, which will lead you to ask:

    • Will we all one day be speaking Chinese?
    • How will the world cope with a population of 10 billion?
    • What can be done to reduce our impact on the planet?
    Is this course right for me?

    The course involves the completion of a geographical enquiry, which will take you on a day’s fieldwork to Pett Level Beach, near Fairlight. You will collect the data necessary to complete a 2000 word project, which will be written over a six-week period, in class and under exam conditions. The Controlled Assessment will be completed by the end of November 2015.

    Students studying Geography at GCSE will get priority in securing a place on the 2016 geographical tour of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and the Bay of Naples.

    Year 9 Geography Long Term Overview Year 10 Geography Long Term Overview Year 11 Geography Long Term Overview
  • History
    Course details:
    • Are you an individual who seeks to understand the present?
    • Are you an individual who is intrigued by examining cause and consequence?
    • Are you someone who asks how the actions of an individual could affect entire populations?

    GCSE History is not simply a thing of the past, but your route to the future.

    GCSE History, will ensure that wherever your career may take you, no door will be closed in terms of your progression. As an EBacc subject, you will achieve a preferred qualification of both employers and universities; giving you a clear advantage over others, not only in the qualification you achieve, but in the skills you acquire.

    In studying History at GCSE you will acquire the ability to problem solve through the analysis of evidence, empathise while working with others and persuade through the clear expression of ideas and arguments.

    You will study four units as part of the AQA curriculum. These will cover a thematic study, a British depth study, a Wider world depth study and a consideration of the impact of Conflict and tension. Specifically, students will be studying Medicine through time, the Normans in Britain, WWI and either Germany from WWI to WWII or Expansion and Civil war in America.

    Is this course right for me?

    History is a demanding course, particularly in terms of the level of literacy required. However, in studying History at GCSE, you maybe setting out on a journey that will take you into a career in politics, publishing, journalism, media and writing. It can also lead you into business, administration and the charity and voluntary sectors.

    Year 10 Curriculum Overview Year 11 Curriculum Overview
  • Philosophy and Ethics
    Course details:

    Students investigate a range of questions from philosophy and ethics and learn about religious responses to them.

    • Unit 1 – Philosophy 1: Does God exist? What is a religious experience? Is there life after death?
    • Unit 2 – Philosophy 2: What is good? Does evil exist? Should we trust reason or revelation? Religion or science?
    • Unit 3 – Ethics 1: Is it OK to get divorced? Is it wrong to be homosexual? When, if ever, should we allow abortion? Should terminally ill people be allowed to die if they want to? Should rich be made to give money to poor?
    • Unit 4 – Ethics 2: When, if ever, is it right to go to war? What is justice? Are all people equal? Should there be limits to what is shown in the media?
    Is this course right for me?

    If you…

    • enjoy learning about different points of view (including religious ones) on “Big Questions” that have no certain answers
    • like contributing to discussions and debates
    • are passionate about justice and fairness

    …then this is probably the right course for you.

    Year 10 Curriculum Overview Year 11 Curriculum Overview
  • Sociology
    Course details:

    This course is about the way people live and interact together. The areas covered on this course include; family, education, social differentiation, poverty and the welfare state, the sociology of power and politics, the sociology of work, migration and movement, social control and deviance.

    Is this course right for me?

    Sociology is a relevant subject for the modern thinker. It covers a wide range of topics connected to everyday life and living. It is an academic GCSE course that supports other literacy based subjects – English, History and Religious Education.

  • Art
    Course details:

    Students who choose to do GCSE Art should enjoy drawing and working with a wide range of materials and processes. They should have an investigative and explorative approach to their work. They will learn about the ways in which a range of artists from different times and cultures have worked. An essential part of the course will be keeping a workbook for researching ideas both in class and at home. All homework is designed to link with the units of work and is issued at the start of each unit. The expectation is that all students will complete work independently at home every week to support their class work.

    Is this course right for me?

    Art will suit students who are organized, motivated and able to work independently.

    Independent work time will have to be given outside lessons throughout the course; it cannot be made up with one huge effort at the end.

    GCSE Art 1 Year Curriculum Overview
  • Photography
    Course details:

    GCSE Photography offers exciting and challenging opportunities to learn new skills and put them into practice. It will enable students to learn about important developments in Photography during the 20th century and the work of some key photographers.

    A regular and structured homework program will be followed by all students. Students do not need their own cameras but this would be an advantage.

    Is this course right for me?

    GCSE Photography students will need patience, enthusiasm and must be prepared to work hard. In addition, students will need to be responsible and self-motivated, as they will be using valuable equipment and will sometimes work independently. Keeping a work journal as homework and making notes on their own work and that of other photographers is an essential part of the course.

    GCSE Photography - Curriculum Overview
  • Art Graphics
    Course details:

    Students who choose to do GCSE Art - Graphics should enjoy drawing and working with a wide range of 2D materials and processes. They should have an investigative and explorative approach to their work. An essential part of the course will be keeping a workbook for researching ideas both in class and at home. All homework is designed to link with the units of work and is issued at the start of each unit. The expectation is that all students will complete work independently at home every week to support their class work.

    Is this course right for me?

    GCSE Art – Graphics will suit students who are organized, motivated and able to work independently. Independent work time will have to be given outside lessons throughout the course; it cannot be made up with one huge effort at the end.

    GCSE Art Graphics Curriculum Overview
  • Art Textiles
    Course details:

    This course is unique in that it combines Art, Design and Technology. It offers students the opportunity to gain specialist knowledge in the creative and product making processes.

    Two thematic projects of approximately two terms develop a broad understanding of past and present methods of constructing, dyeing and printing. Students use a wide range of materials and processes such as hand and machine embroidery; quilting; silk-screen printing; Batik; hand dyeing and painting; silk painting; weaving; knitting; crochet; wrapping and computer aided design. Learners are expected to carry out study and research of historical and contemporary fashion. This, and your experimentation with media, will take the form of a journal of photographs, fashion samples and written notes, which will include a range of related homework assignments.

    Is this course right for me?

    If you are creative, enjoy working with materials and like design and the fashion world, this course is ideal for you.

  • Media Studies
    Course details:

    GCSE Media Studies brings together the study and production of visual, print and web based media.

    The coursework portfolio requires you to develop creative and technical skills in design, photography, video and a range of editing programmes. Careful research and planning for projects is essential to build media production skills and produce professional looking products.

    The two exam units focus on the study of existing media products and their audiences. You will develop analytical skills which enable you to explain design choices in detail, and why they were chosen to target a specific audience.

    Is this course right for me?

    If you want to learn about the role statistics plays in all aspects of everyday life and how to interpret and use statistical statements then this GCSE in right for you.

    This course will be enjoyed by pupils who are creative or are interested in the media or music industries. It's also a great subject for those who enjoy English Literature as the main focus is the study and understanding of texts.

    GCSE Media - Curriculum Overview
  • Music
    Course details:

    This is a unit-based course and offers a choice of solo and ensemble performance, the creation of music products such as workshops, CD‘s and concerts and research into a variety of music genres and the music industry as a whole. Students can select from these areas to match their specific interests.

    Is this course right for me?

    Students need to have a passion for music and need to be learning an instrument of their choice. Students also need to be well organised and able to work independently. In addition students will be expected to keep a performance diary, showing performance evaluations, rehearsal opportunities and research for all their units of work.

  • Drama
  • Dance
    Course details:

    This course will focus on the aesthetic and artistic qualities of Dance and the use of movement to express and communicate ideas and concepts through choreography, performance and critical appreciation. The course is practical based with a minimum amount of research and classroom based work which is towards the end of the course.

    Assessment, worth 80% of the final mark, is through a Solo and a Group Composition. Both are choreographed by the candidate, performance in a group choreographed with the teacher and a Set Dance choreographed by the exam board. There is also a final written examination paper, worth 20%, based upon the two professional dance works studied throughout the course and general understanding of safe studio practice.

    Is this course right for me?

    This course will suit those who enjoy Dance, who have previously passed BTEC Dance achieving at least a Merit, and anyone who Dances outside of school time with a Dance School. Students will be motivated to perform as there are many performances that must be attended throughout the course. These include evening and weekend festivals. The skills learnt and practised in this course will serve you well for any further study at A Level and BTEC National Diplomas in Dance and Performing Arts. It is suited for students who wish to Choreograph, teach Dance or study performance at a higher level or wok in the Performing Arts industry.

  • Resistant Materials
    Course details:

    A practical based course which has a major element of design work included, students will design and make a range of products using mainly wood and plastic to develop practical skills. They will create designs by hand and by using CAD and are expected to be creative in their design work. As well as using traditional skills, the laser cutter will aid the manufacture of some products. It is important that students realise that the course is no more than 50% practical, the remainder being design and written work including research and evaluation. Students will first carry out a range of practice projects, using GCSE assessment criteria and teacher feedback for guidance, before completing their final project. Students may be charged for the materials to make their final project, dependant on the size and make up of their piece.

    Is this course right for me?

    If you have an interest in designing and making and want to develop more practical skills, then this is the course for you. The ability to draw and render is an advantage although these skills will be developed.

    Y10 AQA Resistant Materials - KS4 Year 11 Curriculum Overview
  • Catering
    Course details:

    This course combines the skills, knowledge and understanding to design and make quality products. Practical activities are used to develop processing techniques, use of equipment, ingredients and components in order to design, enhance, produce and evaluate quality products.

    Is this course right for me?

    You need a passion for working with food and learning topics on catering. With this, it combines your academic and practical skills to provide a qualification in an area of real interest.

  • DT Textiles
    Course details:

    This course does not discount against Art Textiles, so students who have completed an Art GCSE can choose it without losing a qualification.

    Students who choose to do Textiles GCSE should enjoy designing and working with a wide range of materials and techniques. They should have an imaginative and experimental approach to their work. They will learn about the ways in which a range of designers from different times and cultures have worked. An essential part of the course will be creating a portfolio of design work focussing on four areas, research, development, making and evaluation. Independent study is designed to link with the four units of work and is issued at the start of each unit. The expectation is that all students will complete work independently to support their class work.

    Is this course right for me?

    If you have a “passion for fashion”, Textiles is an excellent starting point. Pupils can go on to study Fashion or Art Textiles at A level and from there go onto study Fashion, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Merchandising, Costume Design (for Film or Theatre) Interior Design or become a Textiles Designer. This course will suit students who are imaginative, motivated and able to work independently.

    Independent work time will have to be given outside lessons throughout the course; it cannot be made up with one huge effort at the end.

  • Childcare
    Course details:

    This qualification gives a basic understanding of childcare, education, parenting and babysitting. It will help you decide about working with children and young people. All units are optional giving flexibility on the programme of study, maximising achievement.

    You can gain additional core units, which provide you with an understanding of the skills needed when babysitting, your responsibilities to children you care for, and to the parent(s), accident prevention and fire safety. You are introduced to the responsibilities of being a parent. You cover the welfare and care of babies and young children and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. This course does not require a work placement.

  • Core PE
    Course details:

    Students continue to work on their skills & ability, health & fitness, work rate, sportsmanship, leadership and lifelong participation. This will be taught via a range of activities, some of which are a continuation of KS3 and others will be new to the students.

    Is this course right for me?

    All students will have core PE as part of their timetabled curriculum. Students will be given pathways and options to choose from for many of their lessons so they can take part in the PE activities they most enjoy.

    Year 10 Curriculum Overview Year 11 Curriculum Overview
  • Examination PE
    Course details:

    Improve your practical performance and extend your knowledge in a number of activity areas. This course allows students to combine practical skills with the theory behind the subject. It will involve half of your lessons being taught in the classroom.

    Is this course right for me?

    This course will suit those of you who enjoy PE, and have excellent participation records. You will do well if you are motivated to improve your practical performance and learn about the theoretical side of the subject. It provides a good basis for those wishing to study PE at a higher level or work in the sport or leisure industry.

Course details:

The course will offer opportunities to develop business skills demanded by employers in the UK today. They will enhance the learner’s readiness for the world of work by developing transferable skills such as planning, researching, analysing, working together and effective communication.

This course develops learner’s knowledge and understanding of the Business sector through three units of work- Introduction to business, planning for work, and setting up and running an enterprise activity.

Students:

  • will gain an understanding of how different forms of business operate
  • will gain knowledge of enterprise activities in a business context. The student will gain skills that will help them plan and deliver their own enterprise activity
  • are prepared to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.
Is this course right for me?

This course is for students who enjoy creative, business-based problem-solving. The units of study are focused on the skills and knowledge required to work within a business. There is a strong ICT focus which involves the application of business problems using ICT software. This is a fast-paced course, but one which is accessible to all students.

  • Computing
    Course details:

    This course gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. It offers an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, algorithms and technical writing.

    Students will:

    • Develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work
    • Look at the use of algorithms in computer programs
    • Become independent and discerning users of IT
    • Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts
    • Develop computer programs to solve problems
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of computer technology in society.

    Students will develop a body of knowledge about computer systems on which the examination will be based, completing 2 controlled assessments and a final written exam. One assessment is an investigative task showing research and technical understanding, the other is a programming task requiring the design, annotation and testing of a coded solution to a problem.

    Is this course right for me?

    It’s a great way to develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills, which can be transferred to further learning and to everyday life. Students who want to go on to higher study and employment in the field of computer science will find it provides a superb stepping stone.

    Year 11 Curriculum Overview
  • ICT
    Course details:

    This course is designed to develop learner's knowledge and understanding of the Information and Communication Technology sector. Students study units of work related to the work place, in which all students study the mandatory unit (ICT Skills for Business) and then other creative units. Units are set in a business context, enabling learners to appreciate and learn about problem-solving in the working world.

    Is this course right for me?

    This course is for students who enjoy creative, ICT-based problem-solving. The units of study are typically focused on business-like scenarios and encourage students to think and act as though they were working for the company itself. Students will be expected to produce ‘working’ solutions to a variety of business problems, ranging from standard everyday office tasks to specific web or video based projects. Students will be encouraged to work increasingly independently, at pace, to deadlines and in detail.

    Year 11 Curriculum Overview
  • French
    Course details:

    In GCSE French we learn about Media and Culture, Sport and Leisure, Travel and Tourism and Business, Work and Employment through text, audio and video. Throughout the course you will develop four skills; speaking, writing, listening and reading. Speaking and writing are assessed throughout the course by Controlled Assessment whilst listening and reading are multiple choice papers taken at the end of the course.

    Is this course right for me?

    If you enjoy communicating with other people, finding out how language works and learning about different countries and cultures, studying GCSE French is an excellent choice for you! People with language skills and knowledge are highly thought of in the modern world. A language is an essential component of the EBacc suite of qualifications, showing that you have a range of skills. You can talk to your language teacher or visit Year 9 Geography Long Term Overview

  • Spanish
    Course details:

    In GCSE Spanish we learn about Media and Culture, Sport and Leisure, Travel and Tourism and Business, Work and Employment through text, audio and video. Throughout the course you will develop four skills; speaking, writing, listening and reading. Speaking and writing are assessed throughout the course by Controlled Assessment whilst listening and reading are multiple choice papers taken at the end of the course.

    Is this course right for me?

    If you enjoy communicating with other people, finding out how language works and learning about different countries and cultures, studying GCSE Spanish is an excellent choice for you! A language adds an extra dimension to your CV and is a requirement of some FE courses. A solid grounding in French and Spanish at Key Stage 3 provides you with the basic skills of language learning, which can be transferred to a GCSE course. You can talk to your language teacher or visit Year 9 Geography Long Term Overview

  • Latin
    Course details:

    Something completely different, the Latin GCSE offers the opportunity to study the classical world through the language, literature and culture of the Romans. There are four final exams in the course; two language papers, a literature paper and a civilisation paper. We study Latin through reading comprehension and translation and all writing is done in English.

    Is this course right for me?

    Latin can be counted as your language subject in the EBacc. Latin has a wealth of transferable skills and can help you in your understanding and learning of most other European languages – it can even improve your English! Considered an academic GCSE, it is popular with colleges and universities and would suit you if you enjoy English and Humanities as well as Modern Languages. Please note that we only offer Latin to Population S learners, and even then we may advise against some students taking this course if their “working at levels” are considered too low.

Course details:

What is Lifelong Learning?

Lifelong Learning is the knowledge, understanding, attributes and skills that students learn at the Academy in addition to the standard curriculum of established subjects they learn from. Lifelong Learning is useful for their lives now, the next few years as a teenager and for the duration of their lives as adults. It encompasses elements of ‘PSHE’ (Personal, Social and Health Education), ‘Citizenship’, ‘SMSCD’ (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development) and ‘CEIAG’ (Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance).

Lifelong Learning has the following 3 strands:

  • LL1 - Keeping Healthy, Safe and Happy
  • LL2 - Local, National & Global Citizenship
  • LL3 - Progression, Careers & Employability

Year 7 have two lessons a fortnight of Lifelong Learning whereas Year 8 & 9 have one lesson. Although Year 10 & 11 have no timetabled lessons of Lifelong Learning, there are important ‘dropdown’ events throughout these years such as a Careers Fair at the end of Year 10 and the Post 16 Options process in Year 11.

Furthermore many elements of Lifelong Learning are covered through Tutor Times and our Assemblies programme.

CEIAG Key Dates CEIAG at The St Leonards Academy